But before I get to that I want to highlight a number of experiences I've had which resulted in the aforementioned feeling of shame. I consider myself a relatively intelligent individual. I comprehend a majority of the things I read, see and hear. I can have fairly intelligent conversations about politics, art, culture, food and...motorcycles. On occasion I am even able to give a wise piece of advice to someone who needs it. So, why is it that someone in Hollywood can produce a movie with a strong narrative, solid characters, thoughtfully shot sequences and clever dialogue that at the end leaves me scratching my head and wondering if I'd be better off sticking with Sponge Bob?
One of the first experiences I had this feeling with was a little movie starring Gary Oldman and Tim Roth called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. At the end of that film I felt as if someone had dumped a bucket of Shakespeare on me. I just didn't get it. Then there was Annie Hall. Next was Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream and the list goes on and on. I was scratching my head and wondering what in the world I had just been through. The interesting thing was there were elements in all of these films, parts of these stories, that really struck me. I had a very real, emotional response to all of these films. So, why was it that I didn't feel as if I fully understood these stories? Why did I feel like the entire world was looking at me going "don't you get it?" Then came Vanilla Sky.
Vanilla Sky stars Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz and Jason Lee; with wonderful supporting turns by Kurt Russell, Noah Taylor, Timothy Spall and Tilda Swinton. The films' Director, Cameron Crowe, directed one of my favorite movies: Almost Famous. Almost Famous is a movie I connected with from the first frame. It's a story that I dove into head-first and was immersed in the entire time. So, why is it that I couldn't connect with Vanilla Sky? To answer that question I turn the amazing Roger Ebert. Those of you who are familiar with film critics know that Roger Ebert is to film criticism what B.B. King is to Blues. He's the godfather of film critique and he said something that absolutely amazed me. He said: